The Non-Revolution in Prepress

by admin on August 6, 2009

This post from the printceo guys caught my eye. They are having a get-together of print executives. A forum, they say, allowing executives to mingle with their peers. The event is "designed to provide owners and managers of printing firms with insight and guidance for navigating today’s often troubled waters." Well hopefully, there is drinking and golf too.

The interesting bit (for me, anyhow) is that there are no sponsors. No vendors allowed. Nada, zilch. Not welcome. Randy Davidson, president of whattheythink,  explains "that this conference will be unlike any other since we will not have vendor/supplier participation. Our mission with this conference is to present objective content to attendees without any perception of an agenda from industry suppliers or sponsors."

So I puzzled over this missive off-and-on for most of the day (when I wasn't arranging a ceasefire between my two young boys who have been watching Star Wars movies for most of the week. And think that lightsaber duels are great fun, using anything they can find as lightsabers. One of them found a loose strand of barbed wire yesterday, I kid you not. But I digress.) as I thought to myself, why not have sponsors? Sponsors are great, they put money in the bucket and instead of stocking the open bar with Wild Turkey,  you can get yourself a case of single-malt Scotch and everybody can wake up next morning without  a pounding hangover. Who ever heard of arranging a get-together without trying at least a few sponsors to pick up the tab?

But then I thought to myself, you know this hasn't been a great decade for prepress vendors. Let's look at other decades for example: In the eighties, you had Apple and Adobe get together and create the desktop publishing revolution which was a heckuva lot of fun even with a lot of printers complaining that typesetting standards were going to hell. In the 1990s you had thermal CtP and the PDF workflows which made life in the prepress room a lot less stressful.

In this decade well you have... ...well okay it started with the Printcafe disaster and in the middle you had the Acrobat Reader with Fedex fiasco and then (unbelievably) HP decided to launch Marketsplash. Hey, did I mention inkjet yet? Should I?

Every decade a wonderful (and scary) revolution, except for this one. Well, that's not entirely true: There is this little thing called the internet which just killing the traditional marketing models. Unfortunately, this revolution has been transforming business all around the print industry, but not in it, as of yet.

So maybe that's what the print executives want to talk about: How can the printing industry make a buck off the internet? And they don't seem to be looking to the traditional prepress vendors for answers.

{ 1 comment }

Tele2002 August 7, 2009 at 2:16 am

It definitely is possible, they just need to change the way they think and open their mind to how they cost print.

Take a look at http://www.marvia.nl/ they have a simple fresh approach and the technology infrastructure behind the scenes to make it all work.
Or how about the printers move down the food chain and start picking up what premedia companies traditionally do… prepare files for them to moan about and change…. They should start looking at the big players and ask themselves how is the successful printers winning, just do a google on premedia and see who pops up in the top 10… the printers that are aware that internet communication and presences is what helps drive people to their shores.

They should also remember that innovation can come from within their own business, they just need to open their ears and listen to what people have to say!

Sorry soapbox moment there!

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